Fantasy Basketball 2013: Strong Plays For December 30th

By Adam Pfeifer
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports


The time has come.

Fantasy football is officially over for 2013, so all of my attention is devoted towards fantasy hoops. To those of you who are scoffing or rolling your eyes, guess what?

I used to be one of you.

Until I tried it, that is. Now, I write fantasy basketball articles every single week. It’s Monday, which means a new week, and a new slate of fantasy hoops pieces.

Note: FPPG totals are based off FanDuel

Chris Bosh, C (@ DEN)

FPPG allowed to C: 42.11 (18th-most)

Bosh is really, really coming on of late. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 22.8 points, eight rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.2 steals and one assist per game. During that span, he’s averaging an impressive 37.9 fantasy points per game. He truly benefited from the absence of LeBron James on Saturday night, as he exploded for 37 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. LeBron is looking like a game-time decision tonight against the Nuggets, and if he sits, Bosh will likely be the key source of offense for the Heat. It’s a terrific matchup, too, as the Nuggets have been getting wrecked by bigs this season. Denver opponents are averaging 12.8 offensive rebounds per game, which is the second-most in basketball, but are also allowing a healthy 31.5 defensive rebounds per game. The Nuggets are also surrendering the sixth-most points in the paint per game this season (44.4). Even if LeBron plays, Bosh may be a very good play. Just keep tabs on LeBron’s status, because Bosh’s price likely went up, and wouldn’t be worth the price with LeBron in the lineup.

John Wall, PG (@ DET)

FPPG allowed to PG: 40.61 (10th-most)

Wall is enjoying a career-best season, and last night, torched this same Pistons team to the tune of 20 points and 11 assists, resulting in a healthy 37 fantasy points. His fantasy upside is capped, as the Wizards were dominating the entire game, eventually winning by 24. A home and home allows Wall another opportunity to face a Pistons defense allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to point guards. His opposition, Brandon Jennings, isn’t exactly a defensive-oriented player, so the matchup isn’t frightening by any means. The game should also be much closer, seeing as Detroit is a better team at home. As long as the Pistons can keep it close, Wall could easily finish the evening as the top point guard.

Dirk Nowitzki, PF (@ MIN)

FPPG allowed to PF: 40.93 (13th-most)

He’s such an afterthought in fantasy, but Dirk is having one of the better seasons that no one seems to be talking about this year. Averaging 21.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 triples and is shooting an impressive .496% from the field. Dirk isn’t a flashy, exciting play, but he is always a safe play, averaging 35.5 DraftDay fantasy points per game. In fact, he hasn’t posted fewer than 35 fantasy points since December 3rd. Tonight’s matchup is appealing, as the Minnesota/Dallas game has the highest over/under of the night, so plenty of points will be scored. Minnesota is also surrendering above the league average in fantasy points to the power forward position. His opposition, Kevin Love, is chucking up 6.5 triples per game, so you know he’ll continue to do so tonight. That opens up some rebounding opportunities for Dirk tonight.

Wesley Matthews, SG (@ NO)

FPPG allowed to SG: 35.09 (15th-most)

Matthews continues to produce consistently and efficiently at a lower price. The shooting guard position is kind of brutal during tonight’s seven games, and I think Wes makes for a strong play against the Pelicans, who are allowing just above the league average when it comes to fantasy points to shooting guards. The last time Matthews played against New Orleans (Dec. 21st), he notched 18 points and six assists, resulting in a solid 31.25 fantasy points. This game could be a fairly high-scoring one, and the Pelicans are coughing up 24 points from beyond the arc per game (11th-most). The opposition is attempting a healthy 22.8 three-pointers per game this year (sixth-most), and Matthews is one of the best shooters from beyond the arc, sinking 2.7 triples and shooting .444% from such distance.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.

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